5 Reasons Why Making a Great Doctor Who Video Game is Probably Impossible

By Jef With One F in Video Games
Monday, December 10, 2012 at 7:00 am

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4. They Don't Make the Genres That Would Be Most Perfect Fits Anymore

There are two types of games that would make the most sense for Doctor Who, and both are almost obsolete. The first are point and click adventures along the lines of the Monkey Island series, or for a closer comparison the old Discworld games starring Eric Idle. Though stuff like Ace Attorney comes close to this, it's still not quite as good as the games Lucas Arts used to do.

The best part of these is that they allow for plenty of witty quips from The Doctor, as well as allowing you to directly be his companion by calling his attention to things in the game. Is there any companion who never uttered the phrase, "Doctor, look at this?" A point and clicker where there is no Fourth Wall between you and the Time Lord would rock.

The other genre is the old text adventures from the early days of PC gaming. These required a lot of imagination, but they are really nothing more than high tech Choose You Own Adventures stories. Since there is already a wonderfully excellent line of those ready to be adapted, it just seems silly not to. They would make excellent minisodes or browser promotional games.


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1. The Best Setting Seems to be Off Limits

If there is one really distinct difference between Classic Who and New Who, it is the absence of the other Time Lords and the planet Gallifrey. With the exception of The Master and a brief appearance of Gallifrey during "The End of Time," one of the major cornerstones of the Whoniverse is missing. The reason is because The Doctor committed the genocide of the Daleks and his own people between the 1996 movie and the 2005 reboot.

The Last Great Time War, fought by the Eighth Doctor, is also the last great untold Doctor Who story. It is the series' Clone Wars, and if there was ever going to be an epic, Mass Effect-level game for Doctor Who then this is the story it would be. We know a great deal about the war from hints the three modern Doctors have dropped, as well as from comics and novels starring the Eighth Doctor. There's plenty of framework for plot among all these apocrypha.

This is the moment when The Doctor is a soldier. When he is the man he's tried so hard to put behind him ever since. The events of the Time War star a Doctor that we know the least about, so his behavior is not as set in stone as it would be for the other ten. What horrible things did Eight endure in the war, the epic struggle that made him decide not only did the Daleks need eradicating but even his home planet and everything on it? And how did he accomplish that destruction in the end?

Such a game would be many things. It would be a redemption for Paul McGann's Doctor, who suffered so badly from a poor script and doomed the series to nine more years of cancellation. It would show the regeneration into Nine, currently the only one never televised, and most importantly it is the story that can break all the rules because we know they were in fact broken.

In any case, it has to be better than using the TARDIS to go back in time and fix a pothole.


This piece originally appeared in Art Attack, an Houston Press blog. While we wait for Luke Y. Thompson to start as editor of Topless Robot, we'll occasionally be publishing stories from Voice Media Group sites.

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